The past several years have witnessed a confluence of a reinvigorated neo-liberalization agenda and mounting political repression and state violence in the Arab region. Both phenomena happened in the aftermath of the first wave of Arab uprisings in 2011. This chapter addresses how Arab civil societies -defined in the broadest sense to include all collective expressions and actions- have reacted to these changes, by primarily focusing on the intensification of neoliberal measures through austerity, foreign indebtedness, and regressive taxation, increasing privatization of state-owned assets and the continuous decay of public services. The chapter raises two questions: how did contentious politics appear in the Arab region through protest movements, dissentious discourses and other forms of collective action? And; whether and how these expressions of contention over economic questions were national and/or regional variations of (a) broader transnational movement(s) against neoliberalization?
Author: Amr Adly
Publication Date: 2020